Suspension of whole sentence for attack on woman ‘unduly lenient’

Ghost estate security guard who attacked woman in her home may face prison after finding

 Mr Justice Seán Ryan in the Court of Criminal  Appeal  said Alan Kilmartin’s plea of guilty and the fact he was suffering from a psychiatric illness were “genuine mitigating features”. File photograph: Marc O’Sullivan/Collins

Mr Justice Seán Ryan in the Court of Criminal Appeal said Alan Kilmartin’s plea of guilty and the fact he was suffering from a psychiatric illness were “genuine mitigating features”. File photograph: Marc O’Sullivan/Collins

 

A security guard at a ghost estate who attacked a woman unprovoked in her home may face prison following a finding by the Court of Appeal that his wholly suspended three-year sentence was “unduly lenient”.

Alan Kilmartin (35), of Davitt Terrace, Cloughleigh, Ennis, Co Clare, pleaded guilty at Ennis Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm to a woman at Acha Bhaile, Lahinch Road, Ennis on March 2nd, 2012.

He was given a wholly suspended three-year prison sentence, suspended for five years on conditions, by Judge Carroll Moran on November 25th, 2013.

The Director of Public Prosecutions successfully argued in the Court of Appeal on Monday that Kilmartin’s sentence was unduly lenient. The court will impose a new sentence on him on March 23rd next.

President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice Seán Ryan said Kilmartin was employed as a security man in the area of the victim’s residence. He called to her home on the night in question and gave her information about possible interference with her car.

Understandably surprised

He came into her apartment, which understandably surprised her, and made an inquiry about the water in her apartment.

She went to check her water and when she returned he “set about attacking her with a metal implement”.

Kilmartin beat her about the head very seriously, causing her head injuries including lacerations.

She also had protective injuries – fractures to the fingers from when she tried to protect her head from the blows. A fracture to the thumb had resulted in severe restriction of movement of her thumb.

The circumstances were also very threatening. As she cowered in terror and pleaded for him to stop, he told her to shut up and to take off her clothes.

It was perfectly clear from her “impressive testimony” that this attack had very grave and long term consequences for the woman.

It was her explicit wish not to be identified by the press, the court heard.

“Physical injuries were only part of the problem,” Mr Justice Ryan said.

Psychological wellbeing

It had affected her physical wellbeing, her psychological wellbeing, her confidence and her employment prospects, in the multiplicity of ways in which such an incident could impact upon somebody.

It was clear, the judge said, that Kilmartin was suffering from psychiatric depression.

Sentencing was adjourned for five months and expert evidence was given which described the condition he was suffering from, Mr Justice Ryan said.

The judge acknowledged this was a serious mater and “a savage attack”.

He acknowledged Kilmartin’s guilty plea and noted it was less valuable than might otherwise have been because of the strong evidence against him.

Mr Justice Ryan said Kilmartin’s plea of guilty and the fact he was suffering from a psychiatric illness were “genuine mitigating features”.

However, there was no way the judge was legitimately entitled to decide on a wholly suspended sentence, he said.

Mr Justice Ryan, who sat with Mr Justice John Edwards and Mr Justice Michael Peart, adjourned sentencing until March 23rd.